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THE NEUMILLER STORIES by Larry Woiwode (Penguin: $8.95).

July 14, 1991|Charles Solomon

These interlocking stories trace three generations of an immigrant family who homesteaded the North Dakota prairie during the late 19th Century. Woiwode has a keen ear for the crucial phrases that conceal the underlying emotions in the speeches that family members make to each other; he expresses the sorrows and joys and inevitable intergenerational conflicts in subtly shaded prose. As the 20th Century progresses, the younger Neumillers leave the family farm for the city--or try to: They remain bound to the bleak yet beautiful Dakota landscape, and all their efforts to escape its ties inevitably prove futile.

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